Announced in a joint statement from the MSC community and the Parish Pastoral Council on June 7, the decision was communicated in person to parishioners by MSC provincial Fr Chris McPhee at Mass on Trinity Sunday.
Fr McPhee said he understood the decision would come as a shock to many and stressed that it had not been made lightly.
“The MSCs have been present and ministered in Adelaide at both Hindmarsh and Henley Beach since 1914,” he said.
“This decision comes with great sadness from the MSC community here at Henley Beach and no doubt is a shock to all parishioners.”
Fr McPhee said there were 108 MSC men in Australia, 82 of whom were aged over 70 years and 26 of whom were in full-time ministry.
At Henley Beach, three of the priests are aged over 73, “even though they don’t look it”, he quipped.
The MSC will maintain a residence on Port Road in Croydon, and Fr Paul Cashen and Fr Paul McCormack will move to this residence at the end of the year.
Fr Paul McCormack is expected to continue in his current role as chaplain at St Michael’s College and both priests have indicated they will continue to deliver the candlelight Mass, adoration and supply assistance if and when required.
Parish priest Fr Peter Hearn will receive a new appointment next year and Br Kenji will continue his formation towards his ordination.
Sister Helen Armstrong, a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, will continue her support of the parish.
“This is truly sad news for us all and comes with great sadness from the MSC community, but we should not lose sight of the great strength found throughout our parish community,” the joint statement said.
“We are known for our welcoming, passionate evangelisation, mission outreach, care of the poor, love, support, and acceptance.
“We must pray for support from our Father, our Mother Mary, who we call on each week, to hold ‘the parish of Henley Beach’ in her arms. Thus far, we have never been abandoned. We must trust in Gods way, open our hearts to what God is calling us to be.”
The MSC ended its involvement at Hindmarsh-Findon in 2017.Jump to next article